Summary: God placed your mom in your life to guide you to Him.
I was probably about thirteen or fourteen when I began work on my cooking merit badge. I was in Scouts, and one of the ways you advance is by earning merit badges. So, I set out to get my cooking merit badge.
Now, when I worked on my hiking merit badge or my camping skills—that sort of thing—it was my dad I turned to. He knew that stuff. But with this—well, Mom was a shoo-in. She would be my cooking coach. I don’t remember all I had to do, but I do recall two things. I had to learn to cut up a fryer, and I had to bake a loaf of bread from scratch. And that was before bread-making machines.
So, one Saturday, my mom and I went to the store and bought the stuff we’d need: a whole chicken, a bag of flour, milk, and I don’t know what all. Then we went home and started our project. First was the bread, and that went pretty well. We kneaded the dough and put it in the baking pan and then put it in the pre-heated oven.
While the bread was baking, my mom proceeded to instruct me in how to cut the chicken into pieces for frying. We washed the bird and then placed it on the cutting board. I guess I had imagined that this task would be easy. But, once I got started, I changed my mind. It seemed to me that we must have bought the world’s slipperiest chicken. It kept sliding off the board—several times making a lateral move to the cabinet, first to the right, then to the left. Once or twice it seemed to dive from the work surface to the floor, which meant washing it again, which only made it more difficult to handle.
I finally said, “Mom, why don’t you just do it. You know how.”
And you know what she said to me? She said, “Is that what you really want? Sure, I know how, but if I do it, I won’t learn anything I don’t already know and you certainly won’t. And, besides that, you’re the one trying to earn a merit badge, not me.”
How are you going to argue with that? So, with knife in hand and my jaw set, I turned back to the cutting board and went to work. And by day’s end, I had a somewhat properly cut-up chicken. Now, I’m not going to say I could have gotten a job as a cook—not by any means—but that night we had fried chicken and homemade bread. And thanks to my mom’s refusal to do my work for me, I eventually got that merit badge.
Today is Mother’s Day, and I know you’re like me: we want to celebrate our moms. And, really, that’s about all we want to do.
Wait a minute! We there is one other thing we want to do. We want to celebrate our moms and we want to acknowledge the godly influence they have had on us. We want to affirm how God has used our moms to lead us to Christ and to nurture us in him. When Paul wrote to Timothy, he did just that. He credited Timothy’s grandmother and his mother for their godly impact on this young man’s life. He wrote, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well” (2 Tim. 1:5). What an impact our moms have on us!
When you think about it, moms do a lot of things. They take care of us physically. They take care of us emotionally. They take care of us mentally, And they take care of us spiritually. And none of these things is easy.
When we were kids, we did all sorts of foolish things. We took unnecessary risks. We refused to eat our vegetables. We fought going to the doctor. We threw tantrums and pouted when we didn’t get our way. Kids at school hurt our feelings. We lacked confidence.
Some of us were never ready for school on time. We couldn’t find our shoes, or we couldn’t find our homework. Some of us didn’t do our homework. We complained about our teachers. We forgot to mention to Mom that we needed this or that hard-to-find thing by Wednesday…until it was Wednesday. When it came to going to church, we had a lot of the same issues with that as we did with school. We didn’t want to go. And if Dad didn’t go, we threw that up to Mom. And if we had to go anyway, we flipped and flopped in the pew, asked incessantly, “When is it going to be over,” and made it virtually impossible for Mom to get anything out of the service.